Canadian Forest Service Publications

Molecular modifications of baculoviruses for the control of forest insect pests. 2001. Feng, Q.; Arif, B.; Palli, S.R.; Retnakaran, A. Advances in Virus Research 57:263-290.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36786

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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This chapter describes some of the more recent research in the areas of gene cloning and recombinant viruses, genome sequencing of spruce budworm viruses, and development of cell lines. The insect communities in the forests often contain a rich complex of natural enemies of the insects, such as parasites, predators, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These natural enemies can be used as control agents and are attractive alternatives to chemical pesticides, because they are not only naturally occurring but also in many instances host specific with little or no adverse effects on the environment. Many insect viruses are attractive as environmentally benign control agents, because their host range is generally quite narrow, infecting only a few species or genera. This narrow host range permits the use of insect viruses in integrated pest management of forests. Although the viruses eventually kill the insects, because they take a long time to act, the pest insect often causes extensive defoliation before they die. The forest ecosystem is an environmentally sensitive region and is, especially suited for the use of environmentally safe baculoviruses as control agents. Recombinant DNA technology has provided a powerful tool to genetically manipulate the viruses and make it possible to enhance the control potential of baculoviruses.